A P E R I T I U S_lub
DEPTH CONFIGURATIONS. Proximity, permeability and territorial boundaries in urban projects.
Kris W. B. Scheerlinck, Amador Ferrer i Aixalá (director de Tesi).
22 de febrer de 2010.


The thesis considers depth configurations and access control the main parameters of academic research. The investigation domain is defined by an intermediate and alternating scale, associated with the complexity of urban projects. The thesis pronounces a theoretical and conceptual discourse about depth, tested by re-reading historical and contemporary projects that used various models of proximity and accessibility. The academic investigation includes references about proximity, permeability, territorial boundaries and the study of depth configurations, together with its spatial, social, cultural and environmental conditions.

The present thesis is a result of a systematic of urban projects at different scales: from the domestic scale, to the scale of the neighbourhood till the dimension and complexity of urban development areas. The thesis studies and compares depth configurations that determine linear and multiple movements between public and private realms, between spaces with individual or collective use. Collective space and its related systems of relative distances are considered the file rouge of investigation.

The present dissertation redefines and frames the concept of depth and explains, classifies and compares different models of accessibility and their very social or cultural meaning. Different ways of defining boundaries, together with new concepts of public space are studied and linked with the discourse about proximity, depth and accessibility. Using re-reading of both theoretical models and built projects, the thesis describes different ways of application and suggests possible guidelines for urban design projects.


The objective of the thesis is to proof the following hypothesis:

The parameter of depth can be used to describe, frame and explain historical and recent phenomena in the field of urban projects, next to the use of more traditional parameters. During the recent history of urban projects, there has been an increasing importance of depth as an implicit or explicit design parameter, independently of the used scale.

Depth is not a quantitative linear measuring device but a complex configuration, depending on proximity, permeability and ways of delimiting boundaries on a physical, visual and territorial level.

Depth is not based on the traditional private/public distinction but depends on the amount, the nature and the structural qualities of collective space, together with several spacing mechanisms.